The botanical park was definitely a rain forest this year. It poured rain all the time I was setting up the tent Friday. I stopped several times to dump water off the ground cloth. While I struggled with the new tent in the wind and rain, I was not aware that the doors were unzipped. I had to stop to dump water out of the tent before staking it down. Things never dried out.
Fortunately, I packed a swim suit. The inside of the tent no longer had standing water in it by Saturday morning. We got about a total of two hours of sunlight all weekend, the rest of the time it was overcast, and nearly always raining. By Saturday night the tent fabric was threatening to break down and start leaking, but everything held. There were a few gear glitched which could be attributed to the near 100% constant humidity.
My score is embarrassing. Bands were good and I could hear lots of signals. Unfortunately, there was some massive local noise source tearing things up for the first eight hours of the contest and irregularly after that, which made 20 meters impossible. Antennas worked great!
Saturday night 40 meters was working very well and 15 meters was hot during the day on Saturday. I was able to work some CW in spite of the large local noise level. It sounded like some maintenance yard near the park was using an heliarc welder or something similar.
I managed three RTTY contacts with the mainland plus a couple of SSB contacts. Going back to CW was like returning to civilization. My operating skill needs help, that is the main reason I did not score as many Q's as I wanted. CW stations I worked were great about repeats and slowing down a bit. At least I broke my own personal best record for number of mainland contacts per day while QRP camping. I had a total of 38 contacts and 300 points for Q's. I had 400 bonus points, so I failed to make my goal of more Q's points than bonus points, but I did do a lot better than last year.
I tried six meters several times on Saturday afternoon and heard nothing at all. Also the times I checked 10 meters it was also entirely dead even though 15 meters was nice and long at the time. I managed to load the long wire on 160 but did not hear anything the several times I checked there. Some nice signals on 80 meters at night, but I could not raise anyone with my five watts and low slung long wire antenna. Our big bands were 40, 20 and especially 15 meters both at my station and the QRO station down the road.
The new tent was a big hit with the local wild life. In the middle of the night a feral cat collided with one of my counterpoise wires and made quite a startling commotion.
When I pulled up one of the tent poles something like salt dropped out. It was an ant nest. They had moved up into the pole and I dumped out thousands of ants and ant eggs. I blew in the pole and a cloud of white eggs sprayed out the end. Termites attracted to the light swarmed in Saturday night in spite of taking pains to keep the screens zipped up. The Uco candle lanterns are terrific.
Also very large spiders, cane spiders, moved into the vestibule. A regular convention of at least six of them. Disturbed and scurrying about inside a small tent with you, they definitely are two feet across!! OK, maybe only half the size of your hand.
[Arachnid's law: The smallness of the confined space determines the perceived size of the spider.]
Besides the advantage of keeping the tent zipped up, main lessons learned are:
Field Day Log 1998:
AH7R Mike Burger
Ho'omalahia Botanical Park, Windward Oahu, Grid BL11cj.
Class 1B Battery
Saturday Zulu K6TZ 3a SB 1806 14.056 CW 1 W6ERE 6a SJV 1842 14.025 CW 2 KN6OX 1a SV 1849 14.047 CW 3 W6KB 4a SF 1914 14.082 RTTY 4 Sunday Zulu KH6KB 1d PAC 0231 7.088 SSB 5 KH6OS 1a PAC 0232 7.088 SSB 6 KH6WM 1d PAC 0233 7.088 SSB 7 KH6BI 1d PAC 0233 7.088 SSB 8 KH6EJ 1d PAC 0235 7.088 SSB 9 K4JNY 1b TN 0242 21.257 SSB 10 K0GQ 2a MO 0245 21.233 SSB 11 W4ABZ 4e GA 0247 21.244 SSB 12 W6TJ 3a ORG 0305 21.307 SSB 13 KE9KD 1d IL 0308 21.283 SSB 14 KH6OS 1a PAC 0310 21.313 SSB 15 AB7E 1b AZ 0414 14.043 CW 16 K7DAV 3a UT 0434 14.045 CW 17 K8XX 6a MI 0444 14.036 CW 18 W7EN 3e ORG 0609 14.050 CW 19 KH2D 1d PAC 0622 14.041 CW 20 K7ZL 2a SV 0631 14.053 CW 21 KH6E 4a PAC 0651 7.189 SSB 22 KH6OS 1a PAC 0707 14.240 SSB 23 KH6OS 1a PAC 0709 146.58 FM 24 K6BJ 5a SCV 1133 7.237 SSB 25 K7OX 2a AZ 1154 7.026 CW 26 W6HA 2a LAX 1159 7.029 CW 27 N0LM 4d CO 1211 7.040 CW 28 AB7E 1b AZ 1227 7.047 CW 29 K5FD 2a WTX 1239 7.044 CW 30 W6KB 4a SF 1242 7.046 CW 31 W0GG 3a CO 1250 7.062 CW 32 W6PIY 10a SCV 1254 7.042 CW 33 W7JQ 3a WWA 1259 7.033 CW 34 W7IDM 2a AZ 1327 7.028 CW 35 W6JW 3a LAX 1559 14.091 RTTY 36 N7GV 3a AZ 1608 14.083 RTTY 37 KJ6FO 2a ORG 1635 14.232 SSB 38